Growing up, one of Kobe King’s favorite college basketball teams to follow was Iowa State. That interest hasn’t wavered in recent years as the 2017 prospect has kept tabs on the team and visited Hilton Coliseum.
Now, King’s interest will begin to heat up.
Iowa State late last month became King’s first Power 5 offer when it offered the Central High School (Wisc.) shooting guard.
“It’s big,” King said of the offer. “It just gives a player like me more confidence about what I’m capable of. If they’re willing to offer me I must be pretty good and it makes me want to get better, keep working hard and get other big offers. That was one of my favorite schools growing up.”
King’s other offers are from IUPUI, Green Bay and Portland, but the soon-to-be high school junior has also garnered recent interest from Wisconsin, Virginia, Stanford, Creighton, Marquette, Memphis, Northern Iowa and Drake.
While King, who is 6-foot-3, received interest during his sophomore season at Central, the noise has picked up since his AAU season with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors began this spring.
“It’s been good,” King said of his recruitment. “The majority of it has come this spring. Last fall IUPUI offered me and then my recruitment really slowed down. Since AAU it’s starting to blow up a little.”
Iowa State is no stranger to the Wisconsin area having signed Matt Thomas out of Wisconsin when assistant T.J. Otzelberger was in Ames the first time. The Cyclones also have Wisconsin natives Jameel McKay and Deonte Burton on roster via Marquette and signed 2016 point guard Nick Noskowiak this spring.
Interest from Iowa State in King began when Otzelberger returned to Iowa State from Washington in April, King said.
“Our relationship is good. I really like him,” King said. “A lot of times we don’t even talk about basketball. He wants to get to know me and I want to get to know him, so we can have a good relationship.”
King, who averaged 15.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season as a sophomore, has yet one other connection to Iowa State in Thomas. The two became friends when King was in sixth grade and Thomas texted him about joining an AAU team, and they have been friends since.
In fact, King and Thomas have been working out in Wisconsin this week.
“I was just working out with him earlier this week and then we’re working out [Thursday] night,” King said. “Ever since [the texts] we’ve just really become friends. He said Iowa State is a good school, but just take your time with your recruitment and don’t rush it because there are going to be more schools coming. He definitely said a lot of good things about Iowa State.”
King made a trip to watch Thomas at Iowa State last season for a game at Hilton Coliseum, and is planning another trip this summer.
“I’m going there in June,” King said. “I think I’m just going to go up there and spend a couple days with Matt and he’ll show me around and stuff and talk to the coaches.”